Not A Humbug

John Mahama

For those calling for the return of the two former Guantanamo Bay inmates to wherever they were brought from, President John Mahama has stated in the clearest expression yet that the guys are going nowhere.

Yesterday the Catholic Bishops’ Conference joined the long list of antagonists of the strangers with a strongly-worded statement – a story from which is carried elsewhere in this edition.

It is doubtful whether there is a subject which has prompted so much controversy since the commencement of 2016.

We might have to learn to stay with the two guys who claim they love Ghana and are innocuous. We doubt whether they would tell us anything different from this anyway.

President John Mahama has called on his compatriots to forgive the two persons because they were neither tried nor convicted. Unfortunately, only God can forgive persons who have blood on their hands. If their association with Al-Qaeda caused fatalities and therefore sorrow to families, they would face judgment unless they did not do anything which drew blood.

We are surprised at the efforts to present the two as persons without blemish and who the security agencies have no reason to put under their radar.

In this day and age when details about persons with dubious backgrounds are public knowledge, we are surprised that the president is seeking to paint an angelic picture of his guests.


Hannah Tetteh’s description of the guys as mere foot soldiers of the Al-Qaeda does not take away the venom from them.

They have received basic insurgency training from Al-Qaeda – one of them receiving tutelage from Osama Bin Laden. And so for anybody to present them differently is to be throwing dust into our eyes. Indeed, the fact that they were neither tried nor convicted is not enough to regard them as clean persons as those responsible for their admission want us to believe.

The Catholic Bishops posed a number of questions, answers to which can explain what went into the decision to bring the men most countries, including the US, would not open their doors to, into Ghana.

For such important decisions to be taken a consultation with us the citizens would have represented sufficient deference from government to us. Unfortunately, our representatives – MPs – were not in the know when the nod was given the Americans.

The Catholics made an eerie yet important allusion which can raise the adrenalin level of peace-loving Ghanaians. With the Boko Haram insurgents on the back foot – the killers they said are fanning out in the West African sub-region – the heat from a charged President Muhammadu Buhari is too much for them. This is not a humbug and so we ignore it at the peril of national security.

Perhaps the president’s belated efforts at selling the idea of admitting the two in the country should have been put differently. Showing no remorse in taking the decision itself bespeaks of an adamant leader contemptuous of dissenting views on the subject.

With no possibility of converging views on the subject, we are in for a long haul even as our national security is definitely threatened.